With 4 Tennis Master’s Cup titles, 13 Grand Slam singles titles, 14 ATP Masters Series titles and an Olympic Gold Medal, Roger Federer is nothing if not a champion. Between Wimbledon in 2005 and the 2007 US Open, Federer appeared in 10 consecutive Grand Slam men’s singles finals and has won 19 of these titles in his career. Federer currently hold the record for most consecutive Grand Slam singles titles (an incredible 19) and currently ranks as the number 2 tennis player in the world; he held the top spot from February 2004 to August 2008 and won the coveted Laureus World Sportsman award in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Born in Basel, Switzerland, he grew up in the suburb of Munchenstein. He played several sports as a youth and continues to spend much of his time in the Basel area.
Even at the age of six it was obvious that Federer was a born athlete. He begun tennis lessons at the age of nine, working under the tutelage of a private coach by the time he was ten. Federer also played football and cricket as a teenager; both of which he also showed great potential for. However, he ultimately decided to make his career in tennis, though he continued to play cricket in the off-season. He had won all of the national championships open to him at the age of fourteen, being awarded with the opportunity to train at the Ecublems-based Swiss National Tennis Center. Feder joined the ITF junior tennis circuit in 1996, turning pro by 1998; this year saw him winning the ITF Junior Tennis championship as well as the junior WInbledon and the Orange Bowl.
Most tennis players are specialists who play their best on a particular type of court. However, Federer is well known for is performance on courts of all types. As one sportswriter said, you can be a clay court specialist, a hard court specialist or a grass court specialist – or you can be Roger Federer. Federer uses a hybrid semi-western and eastern grip and is best known for his powerful, precisely aimed groundstroke; although his volleys are also certainly something to behold.
Roger Federer has earned an incredible 57 singles titles in his career and has been named by Time magazine as one of the most influential people (in 2007). Federer is active in charity work, having established the Roger Foundation in 2003; the group works to help the disadvantaged and to promote sports to youth. We have yet to see the best years of Federer’s career; it is easy to forget that he is only 27 when you consider how much he has already achieved.